REMEL is a leading manufacturer of products for microbiology, parasitology, immunology, serology, and virology. The company’s product portfolio includes more than 6,000 line items for consumers in the clinical, industrial, research, and academic laboratory markets around the world. REMEL’s company-owned network of regional warehouses and international distributors permits rapid response to meet the needs of customers. The company was founded in 1973 as a small, regional manufacturer of prepared culture media. Over the past 30-plus years, it has added many diverse products, allowing it to move into its current place in the market as a full-service supplier for several disciplines in the laboratory. Its catalog now includes microbial-identification systems, quality-control organisms, stains, reagents, dehydrated culture media, prepared media, and diagnostic test kits, including EIA test kits and slide-agglutination kits. The company’s mission is to be a leading provider of premium-quality products and services to diagnostic- and analytical-testing markets around the world. CLP spoke to Remel’s president and general manager, Rodney Smith, about the company’s history and future plans.

CLP: How did the company change from its status as a small, regional manufacturer to the diverse contender it is today?

Smith: REMEL’s focus on customer needs has been constant throughout its evolution. This concentration has been the guiding principle behind our internal innovation and product-development efforts, as well as the strategic acquisitions we have made. Combined, these efforts have increased our portfolio with unique and innovative products and enabled us to provide our customers with products and solutions to meet the changing needs of the laboratory.

CLP: What needs does REMEL satisfy within the clinical diagnostic market?

Smith: REMEL strives to improve diagnostic quality and lab efficiency by providing the right product to the right place at the right time. To accommodate various customer preferences, our products are available directly from REMEL or via an authorized distributor—in either case, 24/7 technical support is available, and customers are provided with next-day delivery on most product orders. Once in the laboratory, our products support rapid, accurate diagnosis and improved workflow.

CLP: What challenges and obstacles has REMEL faced over the years? How has the company overcome them?

Smith: REMEL has always put the challenges of our customers in front of our own, and together we have overcome hurdles related to the ever-evolving changes in health care, reimbursement, and the general cost-containment issues that laboratories face every day. In this manner, REMEL has become a valuable partner by offering differentiated diagnostic solutions combined with superior levels of technical service and support. We continuously strive to develop products that provide more rapid and reliable results to physicians to facilitate improved patient care and treatment outcomes.

CLP: The company offers a wide range of products. What have been the benefits of diversifying in such a way?

Smith: REMEL’s broad portfolio of high-quality diagnostic products enables customers to process transactions more efficiently by creating a partnership or strategic relationship with a single supplier. The “one-stop-shop” model, combined with our efficient supply chain, reduces transactional costs and increases REMEL’s value as a supplier. These benefits have increased even more as we have partnered more closely with our sister company, Oxoid, to further expand our product offering and broaden our footprint to efficiently supply customers on a global basis.

CLP: What new products will REMEL release soon?

Smith: Our product pipeline is confidential, but REMEL continuously monitors technological advances, the changing laboratory environment, and emerging pathogens and resistance mechanisms to maintain our ability to meet evolving customer needs. Also, we have been partnering with both domestic and international research institutions as well as other players in the microbiology industry to enhance our development initiatives even further.

CLP: Where do you see the market/industry heading?

Smith: Molecular diagnostics will increase capabilities to improve accuracy and timeliness of diagnosis, but we believe there is still an extremely important role for manual microbiology products to play in this process. Point-of-care testing will continue to grow as we move further toward an environment in which health care consumers demand greater control over their diagnosis and treatment. This will continue to drive the need for simple, accurate diagnostic tools to provide immediately actionable results, since the speed of diagnosis can eliminate further tests, guide therapy, and improve treatment results. The growth of international markets and understanding of their differing practices and industry structures will drive innovation that can be applied globally, to all markets, at lower costs, and in more user-friendly formats.

CLP: What would you like CLP readers to learn about REMEL?

Smith: REMEL has rightfully earned a reputation of providing the highest-quality products and backing those products with superior levels of service. REMEL has one of the largest portfolios of microbiology products for both clinical and industrial applications. Our high-value, market-leading brands include Remel™, Oxoid™, Xpect®, ProSpecT®, MicroTest™, and RapID™, to name a few; and when taken together with our sister company, Oxoid, we provide global presence and support that we believe is unequaled in the market.

Michelle Said is associate editor of Clinical Lab Products.